Market Overview

Olin Announces First Quarter 2019 Earnings


CLAYTON, Mo., April 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 

First Quarter 2019 Highlights

  • Net income of $41.7 million and adjusted EBITDA of $270.1 million
  • Reiterated full year 2019 adjusted EBITDA forecast of $1.265 billion

Olin Corporation (NYSE:OLN) announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019.

First quarter 2019 reported net income was $41.7 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, which compares to first quarter 2018 reported net income of $20.9 million, or $0.12 per diluted share.  First quarter 2019 adjusted EBITDA of $270.1 million excludes depreciation and amortization expense of $152.9 million, restructuring charges of $4.0 million, information technology integration costs of $14.1 million and a pretax gain on the sale of an investment in a non-consolidated affiliate of $11.2 million.  First quarter 2018 adjusted EBITDA was $240.3 million.  Sales in the first quarter 2019 were $1,553.4 million compared to $1,710.3 million in the first quarter 2018.

John E. Fischer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Olin achieved the highest first quarter adjusted EBITDA since the 2015 acquisition of Dow's U.S. chlor alkali and vinyls, global chlorinated organics and global epoxy business.  This level of adjusted EBITDA was reached despite several challenges during the first quarter, including ongoing weakness in caustic soda pricing, a later-than-normal seasonal rebound in epoxy and merchant chlorine demand, and shipping disruptions associated with the closure of the Houston Ship Channel in late March."


During the first quarter, caustic soda pricing in Olin's system declined by approximately 9% from the fourth quarter 2018 levels.  At present, caustic soda pricing appears to be nearing a bottom, and Olin expects caustic soda pricing to begin to improve as the second quarter progresses.  Olin also expects further recovery of caustic soda pricing during the second half of 2019.  Olin continued to experience improvement in pricing for chlorine, ethylene dichloride and other chlorine-derivatives in the first quarter and anticipates positive supply and demand fundamentals for chlorine and chlorine-derivatives to continue through the balance of 2019.  We believe the favorable structural conditions in the chlor alkali industry resulting from expected demand and supply dynamics remain in place.  The Company remains confident in the long-term positive outlook for our Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls business.

First quarter 2019 epoxy resin volumes increased sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2018 as customer inventory destocking eased, but were lower year-over-year due to lower end-use demand from automotive-related customers and Asian customers.  The Company experienced sequentially lower raw material costs, primarily benzene and propylene, which were offset by lower product pricing.  The long-term supply and demand fundamentals for the Epoxy business also remain positive.  The combination of expected steady global demand growth and minimal capacity additions in the industry support a favorable long-term Epoxy business outlook.

"During the second quarter, Olin expects caustic soda pricing in our system to decline from the first quarter levels.  As a result of the lower caustic soda pricing and sequentially higher planned maintenance turnaround costs, Olin expects second quarter 2019 adjusted EBITDA to be lower than the first quarter.  Olin also expects second half 2019 adjusted EBITDA to be stronger than the first half.  While Olin continues to expect 2019 adjusted EBITDA to be comparable to 2018 levels, we now believe that there is more downside risk than upside opportunity for the full year.  During 2019, we will continue to focus on achieving our debt reduction targets, while investing in our businesses, and returning cash to our shareholders to create long-term value," Fischer continued.


Olin defines segment earnings as income (loss) before interest expense, interest income, other operating income (expense), non-operating pension income, other income, and income taxes and includes the (losses) earnings of non-consolidated affiliates in segment results consistent with management's monitoring of the operating segments.


Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls sales for the first quarter 2019 were $872.2 million compared to $936.1 million in the first quarter 2018.  First quarter 2019 segment earnings were $120.4 million compared to $130.5 million in the first quarter 2018.  The decreases in the first quarter sales and segment earnings compared to the prior year were primarily due to decreased caustic soda pricing, partially offset by higher chlorine, ethylene dichloride, and other chlorine-derivative pricing.  The lower segment earnings compared to prior year also included higher ethylene costs, due to increased ethane prices, which were more than offset by lower electricity costs and lower maintenance turnaround costs.  Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls first quarter 2019 results included depreciation and amortization expense of $119.8 million compared to $113.7 million in the first quarter 2018.


Epoxy sales for the first quarter 2019 were $524.0 million compared to $603.3 million in the first quarter 2018.  The decrease in Epoxy sales was primarily due to lower cumene volumes and lower product prices.  The first quarter 2019 segment income was $10.5 million compared to a segment loss of $22.1 million in the first quarter 2018.  The increase in Epoxy segment earnings was primarily due to lower planned maintenance turnaround costs.  The first quarter 2018 Epoxy segment earnings reflected $44.7 million of maintenance costs and unabsorbed fixed manufacturing costs from lower production associated with an approximate two-month planned maintenance turnaround at our production facilities in Freeport, Texas.  The first quarter 2019 Epoxy segment earnings also included lower product prices, offset by lower raw material costs, primarily benzene and propylene, compared to last year.  Epoxy first quarter 2019 results included depreciation and amortization expense of $26.5 million compared to $26.7 million in the first quarter 2018.


Winchester sales for the first quarter 2019 were $157.2 million compared to $170.9 million in the first quarter 2018.  The decrease in sales was primarily due to lower military and commercial sales.  First quarter 2019 segment earnings were $9.1 million compared to $12.0 million in the first quarter 2018.  The decrease in segment earnings was primarily due to lower military ammunition volumes and lower selling prices, partially offset by lower commodity and other material costs.  Winchester first quarter 2019 results included depreciation and amortization expense of $4.9 million compared to $5.1 million in the first quarter 2018.


Other corporate and unallocated costs in the first quarter 2019 increased by $2.6 million compared to the first quarter 2018, primarily due to higher costs associated with the implementation of new enterprise resource planning, manufacturing, and engineering systems, and the related infrastructure costs.  Stock-based compensation costs, which includes mark-to-market adjustments, were also higher in the quarter and legal fees were lower.


During first quarter 2019, Olin received proceeds of $20 million and recorded a gain of $11.2 million for the sale of the Company's 9.1% limited partnership interest in Bay Gas Storage Company, Ltd (Bay Gas).  In second quarter 2018, Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls recorded a $21.5 million non-cash impairment charge related to this investment in a non-consolidated affiliate.  Bay Gas owns, leases and operates underground gas storage and related pipeline facilities, which are used to provide natural gas storage and delivery in the McIntosh, AL area.  Olin has no other non-consolidated affiliates.


The cash balance at March 31, 2019 was $105.7 million.  In first quarter 2019, Olin repaid $50 million of debt outstanding using available cash.  Olin is targeting to repay approximately $250 million to $300 million of debt during 2019.  During the first quarter 2019, approximately 0.6 million shares of common stock were repurchased at a cost of $13.2 million.


On April 25, 2019, Olin's Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.20 on each share of Olin common stock.  The dividend is payable on June 10, 2019, to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 10, 2019.  This will be the 370th consecutive quarterly dividend to be paid by the Company.


Olin senior management will host a conference call to discuss first quarter 2019 financial results at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.  Associated slides, which will be available one hour prior to the call, and the conference call will be accessible via webcast through Olin's website,  An archived replay of the webcast will also be available in the Investor Relations section of Olin's website beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time.  A final transcript of the call will be posted the day following the event.


Olin Corporation is a leading vertically-integrated global manufacturer and distributor of chemical products and a leading U.S. manufacturer of ammunition.  The chemical products produced include chlorine and caustic soda, vinyls, epoxies, chlorinated organics, bleach and hydrochloric acid.  Winchester's principal manufacturing facilities produce and distribute sporting ammunition, law enforcement ammunition, reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and industrial cartridges.

Visit for more information on Olin.


This communication includes forward-looking statements.  These statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on management's beliefs, certain assumptions made by management, forecasts of future results, and current expectations, estimates and projections about the markets and economy in which we and our various segments operate.  The statements contained in this communication that are not statements of historical fact may include forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties.

We have used the words "anticipate," "intend," "may," "expect," "believe," "should," "plan," "project," "estimate," "forecast," "optimistic," and variations of such words and similar expressions in this communication to identify such forward-looking statements.  These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.  Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those matters expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.  We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of future events, new information or otherwise.  The payment of cash dividends is subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will be determined in light of then-current conditions, including our earnings, our operations, our financial conditions, our capital requirements and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.  In the future, our board of directors may change our dividend policy, including the frequency or amount of any dividend, in light of then-existing conditions.

The risks, uncertainties and assumptions involved in our forward-looking statements, many of which are discussed in more detail in our filings with the SEC, including without limitation the "Risk Factors" section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • sensitivity to economic, business and market conditions in the United States and overseas, including economic instability or a downturn in the sectors served by us, such as ammunition, vinyls, urethanes, and pulp and paper, and the migration by United States customers to foreign locations;
  • the cyclical nature of our operating results, particularly declines in average selling prices in the chlor alkali industry and the supply/demand balance for our products, including the impact of excess industry capacity or an imbalance in demand for our chlor alkali products;
  • our reliance on a limited number of suppliers for specified feedstock and services and our reliance on third-party transportation;
  • higher-than-expected raw material, energy, transportation, and/or logistics costs;
  • failure to control costs or to achieve targeted cost reductions;
  • new regulations or public policy changes regarding the transportation of hazardous chemicals and the security of chemical manufacturing facilities;
  • the occurrence of unexpected manufacturing interruptions and outages, including those occurring as a result of labor disruptions and production hazards;
  • complications resulting from our multiple enterprise resource planning systems and the conversion to a new system;
  • changes in, or failure to comply with, legislation or government regulations or policies;
  • the failure or an interruption of our information technology systems;
  • economic and industry downturns that result in diminished product demand and excess manufacturing capacity in any of our segments and that, in many cases, result in lower selling prices and profits;
  • the effects of any declines in global equity markets on asset values and any declines in interest rates used to value the liabilities in our pension plan;
  • unexpected litigation outcomes;
  • adverse changes in international markets, including economic, political or regulatory changes;
  • weak industry conditions affecting our ability to comply with the financial maintenance covenants in our senior credit facility;
  • failure to attract, retain and motivate key employees;
  • our substantial amount of indebtedness and significant debt service obligations;
  • costs and other expenditures in excess of those projected for environmental investigation and remediation or other legal proceedings;
  • our long range plan assumptions not being realized causing a non-cash impairment charge of long-lived assets; and
  • adverse conditions in the credit and capital markets, limiting or preventing our ability to borrow or raise capital.

All of our forward-looking statements should be considered in light of these factors.  In addition, other risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we consider immaterial could affect the accuracy of our forward-looking statements.




Olin Corporation

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Earnings of Non-consolidated Affiliates

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